The modern age is not doing sewers any favors. The sewing machine manufacturers have switched to cheaper construction materials so your sewing experience is not always pleasant. The machines do not last as long as the vintage metal models.
What is the best all-metal sewing machine? There are a lot of top metal sewing machines that are still sewing up like they were 10 years old or less. Metal machines last and one of the best would be an all-metal Bernina (any model) or a Singer 400 or 500 series or a Kenmore 158 model.
As you can see there are a lot of great metal sewing machines to purchase. To find out about them just continue to read our article. A little guidance to on the best metal sewing machines goes a long way in helping you find a great machine to use.
To understand this question you just need to understand the definition for the word chassis. A chassis is the frame of the sewing machine. To have a metal chassis sewing machine means your sewing machine has a metal frame.
This construction makes the machine a little bit more durable and it can handle a little extra punishment. Do not be bothered if the metal frame is covered by a plastic body. The plastic does not interfere with the integrity or strength of the metal frame. It is just a protective and decorative housing.
One model that has a metal chassis is the Brother LS14S and it has about 14 stitch patterns. Just one note that you should be aware of. Plastic bobbins are only to be used in this machine. A metal bobbin won’t work as well and may void the 3-year warranty. Metal and plastic are rarely interchangeable.
Both construction materials have their positive and negative points. For plastic, you are looking at having to carry a lighter machine. You should not hurt your body when you have to carry the machine to a new location.
Another positive for plastic machines is that they are usually cheaper and easier to fix. One of the negatives for plastic machines is that their parts wear down faster, they are more fragile and break easier.
On the plus side for metal machines, most are basically bulletproof. They can take a beating and continue to work as nothing happened. Their parts are very durable and long-lasting as well.
The negative aspects are that these machines are harder and more expensive to repair. Another is that their overall cost is more because the metal is more expensive to use than plastic. One final positive for metal machines is that they can sew through just about anything without breaking into a sweat.
The weight of the old metal machines is usually quite heavy. So that eliminates aluminum from being used to make those metal sewing machines. The major metal used in their construction would be steel or iron.
There may be an alloy or aluminum in the more modern ones, though. Manufacturers have used technology to create tougher lighter metals that do not lose their strength when combined with other ingredients.
What metal is used will depend on the manufacturer and how much they will charge for the sewing machine. More and more modern machines are going to plastic parts replacing the costlier metal parts. This saves the maker some money and sometimes they pass that savings on to you.
Keep in mind that even if the sewing machine has a plastic exterior body there is still metal inside. It is just that not all the parts will be made of metal.
If you want to count the chassis as a sewing machine part then you can expect a vast majority of sewing machines made today have at least one metal part. Not all modern sewing machines come with a metal chassis though.
Most metal parts have been replaced by plastic in a large number of new sewing machines. But there is a large selection of models that still come with metal parts. It would be hard to list all the different models.
Suffice it to say that Bernina, Singer, Brother, Janome and the rest of the top brands still make sewing machines with metal parts. To get a look at specific models you can click here to view a list of those sewing machines.
How many metal parts each sewing machine has is a different question and to answer that you may have to open yours up to see the exact number.
This is also a difficult question to answer as there are so many different sewing machine models on the market today. But to kick it off the Singer 600 & 603 should have metal gears. The company’s Touch and Sew series does not.
Many of the Bernina sewing machine models come with metal gears as do the other top brands. One way to tell if your machine has metal gears or not is to check your bobbin hook. If it is plastic most likely the gears will not be made of metal.
Another way to tell is to lift the machine. If it is heavy then you probably have metal gears. If it is light then the gears are most likely plastic. Then you can always check the owner’s manual and see what it says.
Usually, the owner’s manual will tell you if the gears are plastic or metal and how to replace them when they break.
If you want a sewing machine with all metal parts you may have to go back to the vintage machines before the 1960s or 70s. It was somewhere in those decades that plastic started to make an appearance in the different sewing machine models.
Some of all-metal machines are Viking 6000 series, Necchi made a good one in the 500 series but they didn’t always come with a free arm. Then there is the Kenmore 158, and the Singer Slant O Matic and their 400 and 500 series.
Not to be outdone, the Bernina 931 is also an all-metal sewing machine. You can check with the different dealers to see which modern models fit the all-metal category. Some should still be made today although you may be paying a high purchase price to obtain them.
One option is to go industrial as the Janome HD 1000 Black Edition industrial-grade sewing machine comes with an all-metal body. That metal is aluminum but aluminum is tough and can handle a lot of knocks and drops without letting any harm come to your machine.
On the home front, you can always purchase the Janome 6650 Memory Craft Computerized Quilting and Sewing Machine. Its all-metal body helps the 170 stitches and 1000 SPM function for many years to come.
Then there is the Janome HD 3000 which has an aluminum body to help keep the weight down. Finally, there is the MyStyle 100 which also has a full metal body. One thing about an all-metal body sewing machine is that they should be able to perform continuously for hours without overheating.
Janome uses three construction materials to build its machines. Plastic, metal, and aluminum. The first and third options help keep the weight off so you can lift the machines easier.
We have already talked about the older Singer sewing machines that come with all metal parts. Some modern versions come with all-metal bodies to help them stand the test of time.
The HD 44 series should have all of its models built with a metal body. The 4452, 4432, 4423, 4411, 44S and the 14HD854, as well as the CP6350 machines, should have metal bodies.
One thing to be careful about with Singer is that while they have some all-metal bodies for their sewing machines, they also dress some of their models up to look like they have metal bodies.
So do not be fooled and double-check the bodies before you make your purchase. You do not want to be disappointed when you get the machine back home and take a closer look. Also, a lot of the Singer sewing machines come with a plastic frame instead of a metal one.
Yes, they do but like other sewing machine makers, they do not give every model they make a metal frame. Brother is a bit like Singer in that it reserves the metal parts for their heavy-duty series of sewing machines.
These machines are built to sew heavier materials without burning out the motors. Some of the Brother regular home sewing machines do come with a metal frame but theirs is not as thick as the HD series metal frame.
Brother is also like many of the other major sewing machine manufacturers. They have turned to use a lot of plastic parts in their sewing machines. If you do not like plastic parts you may want to search for a vintage machine that was built before the 1970s.
The metal frame is one positive for the Brother sewing machines while the plastic parts may add up to a big negative.
The first place you can go to look for an all-metal sewing machine for sale are the many different sewing discussion forums on the internet. Knowing someone who knows someone is a great way to get good leads as well as some good deals.
The next place to look for old sewing machines would be the numerous garage, yard, estate sales that populate the weekends in most cities. Plus, the old fashioned markets that some cities have is another place to look.
Unfortunately, those markets and flea markets may have a higher price on those machines as those vendors know what they are selling. You can probably get a lot of spare parts in those last two locations.
Next would be your local or internet sewing machine repair or supply stores. Some people make a living at repairing old machines and they either advertise in the paper or through a web page.
The paper or special classified newspapers in your home city would also be a great place to look. People needing extra money or space often advertise there as their costs are lower.
Finally, you can go to Amazon but probably the best place to look for all metal sewing machines would be eBay or similar websites. People need extra money and want their machine to go to the highest bidder so eBay is a great place to start. Craigslist is also something you should not overlook.
When you put your mind to it, there is a lot of places where you should be able to find a good all-metal sewing machine. Don’t forget to ask your relatives.
When you want to use a trustworthy machine, doesn’t have complicated bells and whistles and other factors, you need to turn to some of the best all metal sewing machines made decades ago.
All-metal sewing machines have been working like a charm for over 100 years and they are still going strong. All metal machines know how to work and they have the longevity to prove it.
The only drawback is that they may be expensive to repair or have parts replaced. Metal has rarely been cheap when it goes into a finely tuned machine like a top all metal sewing machine.